Philippines : News and Discussion

Discussion in 'Indo Pacific & East Asia' started by abhi_the _gr8_maratha, May 6, 2014.

  1. abhi_the _gr8_maratha

    abhi_the _gr8_maratha Senior Member Senior Member

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    post articles, news,and every thing about philippines here
     
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  3. abhi_the _gr8_maratha

    abhi_the _gr8_maratha Senior Member Senior Member

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    Thousands of American and Philippine
    troops launched large annual
    exercises Monday after US President
    Barack Obama vowed “ironclad”
    backing for its Asian ally, locked in a
    tense maritime row with China.
    Filipino Foreign Secretary Albert del
    Rosario said the 10-day drills were
    necessary to deal with the challenge
    of “aggressive” neighbors intent on
    “changing the status quo.”
    He did not mention China directly, but
    Beijing has been robust in its efforts to
    assert territorial claims over most of
    the South China Sea, putting a strain
    on its relationships with neighboring
    countries.
    “In recent years tensions in the Asia-
    Pacific region have increased due to
    extensive and expansive maritime and
    territorial claims undermining the rule
    of law,” del Rosario said at the opening
    ceremony.
    “Aggressive patterns of behavior
    aimed at changing the status quo
    threaten peace and stability in the
    region.”
    He added that the military exercise,
    known as Balikatan (Shoulder to
    Shoulder), with its focus on “maritime
    capability”, boosted the Philippines’
    ability to “address these challenges.”
    In Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry
    spokeswoman Hua Chunying said her
    government hoped that efforts of “all
    parties in this region ... (were)
    conducive to regional peace and
    stability.”
    State-run China Daily newspaper last
    week said that US has presented itself
    as a “security threat” to China by
    joining its “trouble-making allies” in
    ganging up against Beijing.
    The Philippines on March 30 filed a
    formal plea asking a United Nations
    arbitration tribunal to declare what
    Manila said was Beijing’s claim to 70
    percent of the South China Sea as
    illegal and a threat to freedom of
    navigation.
    The seabed is believed to contain huge
    deposits of oil and gas and the waters
    straddle vital sea lanes.
    Beijing has rejected UN arbitration and
    urged Manila to settle the dispute
    through bilateral talks instead.
    About 2,500 US soldiers are joining
    3,000 Filipino troops in the maneuvers,
    which began a week after President
    Obama assured Manila his government
    was committed to a 1951 mutual
    defense treaty.
    Dozens of Australian troops, including
    Special Forces, are also taking part this
    year as the Philippines seeks to
    include other key allies in the region.
    Looking to raise its regional defense
    platform, Australia will be bringing P-3
    Orion surveillance aircraft to the drills
    to help boost Manila’s “maritime
    domain awareness,” said Wing
    Commander Nicholas Pratt of the
    Royal Australian Air Force.
    He said the aircraft would be operating
    out of the western Philippine island of
    Palawan, fronting the disputed waters.
    Meet 21st Century Challenges
    Also last week, the US and the
    Philippines bolstered their security
    alliance with a new agreement giving
    American forces greater access to
    Philippine bases — part of a US
    rebalancing towards rising Asia.
    The deal allows US forces, vessels and
    equipment into up to five Filipino bases
    over the next 10 years, the hosts said.
    “The (new agreement) updates and
    strengthens US-Philippine defense
    cooperation to meet 21st century
    challenges,” US ambassador to the
    Philippines Philip Goldberg said
    Monday.
    Obama’s four-nation Asian tour was
    dominated by worsening maritime
    tensions between Beijing and
    Washington’s allies in the region,
    which have triggered fears of military
    conflict.
    The Philippines, which has one of the
    weakest militaries in the region, has
    repeatedly called on the United States
    for help as China has increased
    military and diplomatic pressure to
    take control of the contested areas.
    While Obama sought to reassure the
    Philippines that the United States
    would support its ally in the event of
    an attack, he did not specifically
    mention coming to the aid of Manila if
    there were a conflict over the
    contested South China Sea areas, as
    his hosts had hoped.
    But he ended his trip with a warning to
    China against using force in territorial
    disputes.
    The war games will feature live-fire
    drills, search-and-rescue operations
    and humanitarian response scenarios
    in several locations.
    There will also be demonstrations of
    maritime surveillance systems and
    ship-to-shore landing exercises on the
    hosts’ west coast, facing the disputed
    waters.
     
  4. abhi_the _gr8_maratha

    abhi_the _gr8_maratha Senior Member Senior Member

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    The Department of National Defense
    (DND) accepted the motions for
    reconsideration of two foreign
    shipbuilding firms that seek to join the
    bidding for Philippine Navy's frigate
    program, a Navy official said.
    India state-owned Garden Reach
    Shipbuilders and Engineers, Ltd. and
    STX France, SA from Europe joined the
    P18-billion project to boost the
    country's maritime forces with new
    warships, Navy technical working
    group head Commodore Roland
    Mercado said in a state news report on
    Thursday.
    DND earlier excluded the firms from
    the program due to deficiency in
    documents, but were recently
    reconsidered by the agency's Special
    Bidding Awards Committee after
    renewing their application.The firms
    now join Navantia Sepi (RTR Ventures)
    of Spain, and South Korean contractors
    STX Offshore and Shipbuilding,
    Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine
    Engineering Co. Ltd. and Hyundai
    Heavy Industries, Inc. which have
    passed the first stage of the bidding
    process. Mercado said the Defense
    officials are now conducting technical
    discussions with Garden Reach and
    STX France. The discussions will aid
    DND to draft final technical
    specifications of the required frigates,
    Mercado explained.
    He added that the committee was also
    tasked to closely scrutinize the hull,
    power plant, communications systems
    and weapons systems in the frigate
    designs submitted.
     
  5. abhi_the _gr8_maratha

    abhi_the _gr8_maratha Senior Member Senior Member

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    The Philippines
    hopes to complete this month
    negotiations for the acquisition of
    three Israeli-made aerial radars worth
    P2.68 billion that will be used to
    monitor disputed areas in the West
    Philippine Sea.
    Defense Undersecretary Eduardo
    Batac told The STAR that department
    officials have completed the pre-
    negotiations for the project, which
    seeks to boost the country’s capability
    to detect aerial intrusions.
    “We have finished the pre-
    negotiations. That was actually a
    marathon negotiation for two weeks,”
    Batac said.
    “Hopefully within May, we can finish
    (formal negotiations) because we are
    really putting priority to this,” he
    added.
    The three radars would be acquired
    from Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. -
    Elta through government-to-
    government transaction.
    “This is very important. This should
    precede the acquisition of all our air
    defense aircraft. We have to have the
    eyes, the ability to detect intrusions
    into our airspace before we can even
    scramble our air assets,” Batac said.
    “We cannot let our fighters roam
    around our skies because it would be
    too costly. We scramble them on the
    basis of a detection report which is
    done by the radars,” he added.
    Batac, however, said that they could
    only start the talks once the special
    allotment release order (SARO) for the
    project is released.
    “We cannot enter into formal
    negotiations until we have the SARO
    because the moment we enter into
    formal negotiations, there are already
    commitments both on the part of the
    supplier and us. There are some things
    which are to be prepared by us when
    the equipment arrives,” he said.
    Such requirements, Batac said, include
    roads leading to the site of the radar
    station and basing support facilities.
    President Aquino and Defense
    Secretary Voltaire Gazmin have to
    approve the project’s terms of
    reference, he added.
    The pre-negotiation for the project
    was finished last March, about two
    weeks after a Philippine delegation led
    by Gazmin visited Israel.
    Defense officials from the Philippines
    and Israel have signed an
    implementing agreement that provides
    the guidelines for the formal
    negotiations.
    Batac said the radars could also be
    used for civil aviation purposes, noting
    that the country derives income from
    aircraft flying within its airspace.
    “We have to have a basis other than
    their (aircraft) reporting to track their
    entry and exit from our flight
    information region,” he said.
    Last February, Israel offered to provide
    excess defense articles to the
    Philippines, widely viewed as one of
    the weakest in the region in terms of
    military capability.
    The matter was discussed during a
    bilateral meeting of Gazmin and Israeli
    Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon in Tel
    Aviv.
    Israel also offered assistance in the
    development of command, control,
    communications, computers and
    intelligence capabilities.
    Meanwhile, the military vowed to
    continue boosting the morale of
    soldiers guarding the Ayungin (Second
    Thomas) Shoal following the
    successful air drop of food supplies in
    the area last Saturday.
    Armed Forces public affairs chief Lt.
    Col. Ramon Zagala said that the
    Marines stationed on the BRP Sierra
    Madre, the rusty ship that ran aground
    in the shoal and serves as a makeshift
    military detachment in the area, were
    given the sensitive task of defending
    Philippine sovereignty.
    “We won’t neglect them. They have an
    important role to do and that is protect
    our national interest,” Zagala said in a
    phone interview.
    “They can expect more morale-
    boosting support. (We will deliver) not
    just supplies but letters and presents
    from civilians. Those little things are
    very important to them,” he added.
     
  6. abhi_the _gr8_maratha

    abhi_the _gr8_maratha Senior Member Senior Member

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    A
    Chinese national working at a fish
    farm in eastern Malaysia was
    kidnapped by gunmen early Tuesday
    and believed taken to southern
    Philippines, police said, sparking
    fresh concerns of security threats on
    Borneo island.
    The incident comes a month after
    suspected Filipino insurgents seized a
    Chinese tourist and a hotel worker
    from a dive resort in eastern Sabah
    state.
    Mohamad Bakri Zinin, Malaysia's
    national deputy police chief, said five
    men clad in military fatigues entered
    the fish farm belonging to Wonderful
    Terrace Sendirian Berhad several
    hours before dawn and kidnapped its
    manager, Yang Zailin, 34.
    He said two of the men were believed
    armed with M16 rifles. Police pursued
    the kidnappers who fled on boat and
    they exchanged shots at a nearby
    island, he said.
    "However, they managed to escape
    and were headed to a neighboring
    country," Bakri said in a statement.
    A Philippine security official, who
    declined to be named as he isn't
    authorized to speak to the media,
    said Filipino authorities have been
    notified of the kidnapping. The
    official said the victim was believed
    to have been taken to Mindanao in
    the southern Philippines.
    China's Xinhua News Agency said
    Beijing has urged Malaysia to speed
    up efforts to rescue the man.
    The spate of kidnappings underline
    persistent security threats in Sabah,
    a popular tourist destination and dive
    spot that is a short boat ride from the
    southern Philippines, where Muslim
    militants and kidnap gangs have long
    found safe haven.
    The move will likely add further to
    negative sentiment in China over the
    safety of its citizens in Malaysia,
    which is still hunting for a jetliner
    that went missing March 8 with 239
    people, mostly Chinese citizens, on
    board.
    Last November, suspected Filipino
    militants shot and killed a Taiwanese
    tourist and kidnapped his wife from a
    resort in Sabah. The women was
    released a month later in the
    southern Philippines. Authorities
    didn't say whether a ransom was
    paid.
    Militants in the southern Philippines
    are holding more than a dozen
    captives, including two European bird
    watchers who were seized from
    Tawi-Tawi, the southernmost
    Philippines province closest to Sabah,
    in 2012.
     
  7. abhi_the _gr8_maratha

    abhi_the _gr8_maratha Senior Member Senior Member

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    27 Apr 2014
    MORE FROM THE TELEGRAPH
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    Tue 6 May 2014 Updated 8 mins ago
    Home » News »
    Philippines to sign security pact with
    US
    The deal was announced during
    President Barack Obama's current tour
    of the Far East
    Picture: AP
    Twitter Facebook Share
    Ten-year deal designed to support
    Washington ally in territorial disputes
    with China
    The United States is to sign a deal with
    the Philippines allowing it to beef up
    the US military presence on the
    islands, a move likely to annoy China
    as it presses claims to waters in the
    region.
    The two long-term allies will on
    Monday sign a ten-year pact allowing
    US forces to access military camps and
    to preposition planes and ships for
    operations. It could see America's old
    base at Subic Bay – used during the
    Vietnam War – reopened some two
    decades after it was
     
  8. abhi_the _gr8_maratha

    abhi_the _gr8_maratha Senior Member Senior Member

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    US President Barack Obama
    has arrived in the Philippines in a visit
    widely seen as a part of Washington's
    "pivot to Asia strategy."
    Obama landed just hours after
    Philippine Defence Secretary Voltaire
    Gazmin and US Ambassador to the
    Philippines Philip Goldberg signed a
    new military agreement allowing more
    troops in the country.
    The Philippine government said the
    pact was an affirmation "of the robust
    and enduring strategic partnership
    between" the two allies.
    Talking to reporters in Manila,
    Goldberg, said that the new agreement
    would not allow the reopening of US
    bases in the Philippines, something
    that has been opposed by nationalist
    forces and is prohibited by the 1987
    Constitution.
    But the agreement essentially allows
    US access to Philippine military bases
    across the country.
    Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago,
    chairman of the Philippines Senate
    Committee on Foreign Affairs, told Al
    Jazeera that the agreement has
    "marginal advantages" for the
    country, and is more beneficial to the
    US.
    With the signing of the agreement,
    Santiago said the US "could claim that
    it has 'contained' China, because the
    Asian countries involved, including the
    Philippines, are now bound by their
    respective agreements with America".
    "It would make the Philippines sounds
    as if we are a satellite ally of America,"
    she said.
    During a joint press conference with
    the Philippine president, President
    Obama said he goal of the US was not
    to contain China.
    "We welcome China's peaceful rise. We
    have a constructive relationship with
    China," Obama said.
    "Our goal is not to counter China, our
    goal is not to contain China. Our goal is
    to make international rules and norms
    are respected, and that includes areas
    of maritime disputes.
    "Our primary interest is the peaceful
    resolution of conflict, including
    navigation that allows for continued
    progress and prosperity. We continue
    to stand shoulder to shoulder to
    uphold peace and security in this
    region and around the world."
    Philippines president, Benigno Aquino,
    said the agreement "reaffirms our
    countries’ commitment to mutual
    defense and security, and promotes
    regional peace and stability."
    "Both President Obama and I share the
    conviction that territorial and maritime
    disputes in the Asia-Pacific region
    should be settled peacefully, based on
    international law. We affirm that
    arbitration is an open, friendly, and
    peaceful approach to seeking a just
    and durable solution," he said.
     
  9. abhi_the _gr8_maratha

    abhi_the _gr8_maratha Senior Member Senior Member

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    Disputes with China
    Anti-China sentiments have been on
    the rise in the Philippines, which is
    engaged with Beijing over disputed
    atolls in the potentially oil- and gas-
    rich South China Sea, with both
    countries claiming Scarborough Shoal
    and Second Thomas Shoal as their
    own.
    The Philippines has accused Beijing of
    becoming increasingly aggressive in
    staking its claims to the sea, and has
    called on the US for greater military as
    well as diplomatic support.
    While the treaty is seen to boost
    Manila's confidence in countering the
    Chinese power, Santiago warned that
    the country must be careful in
    handling the agreement, and avoid the
    violation of the Philippines
    constitution.
    "Filipinos should keep uppermost the
    supremacy of the Philippine
    Constitution," she said.
    "We should not accommodate any
    foreign power at the cost of the
    sovereignty of our Constitution, even if
    the problem is presented as if it were a
    problem of national survival."
    Activists opposing what they call "US
    imperialism in Asia," raise the question
    of sovereignty.
    They cite a case in 2005 when five US
    soldiers were initially sentenced to life
    in prison for allegedly raping a Filipino
    woman, before the ruling was
    overturned by another court and they
    were set free, despite public anger.
    Another issue that has spiked
    contempt is the alleged dumping of
    toxic waste in the northern
    Philippines, supposedly by US military
    ships which Washington denies
     
  10. abhi_the _gr8_maratha

    abhi_the _gr8_maratha Senior Member Senior Member

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    - The ratio of government
    debt to gross domestic product eased
    further to 39.2 percent last year from
    40.6 percent in 2012.
    In a report, the Department of Finance
    said the government’s debt to GDP
    declined to ₱4.53 billion as of the end
    of December 2013.
    Government debt to GDP, which
    peaked at 78.1 percent during the
    Asian financial crisis in 1997, has been
    on a downward trend in the past few
    years as the Aquino administration
    stepped up efforts to manage the
    country’s debt.
    Generally, government debt as a
    percent of GDP is used by investors to
    measure a country’s ability to make
    future payments on its debt, thus
    affecting its borrowing costs and
    government bond yields.
    This continuing trend of decreasing
    general government debt-to-GDP
    ratio shows government’s efforts to
    ensure sustained fiscal space
    throughout the medium term.
    The decrease in government debt level
    was attributed to the ongoing fiscal
    consolidation with deficit accounting
    for only 1.3 percent of the country’s
    total economic output.
    Apart from this, the government took
    advantage of broadly favorable
    domestic funding conditions in 2013 to
    redenominate away from foreign
    currency debt.
    Of the P554.7-billion gross borrowing
    for the year, 94 percent came from the
    domestic market while the remaining
    six-percent comprised concessional
    foreign loans from development
    partners.
    This helped reduce the foreign debt
    component of government debt to
    only ₱1.95 trillion or 34.3 percent of
    the total outstanding debt.
    A decrease of local government debt
    to ₱71 billion from ₱73.4 billion
    likewise helped trim the ratio.
    The intra-sector debt holdings of local
    government also declined to ₱3 billion
    from ₱3.1 billion.
    Under the consolidated general
    government debt, the obligations of
    the Philippine government, the Central
    Bank Board of Liquidators, social
    security institutions (SSIs) and local
    government units are taken into
    account.
    The consolidated debt also nets out
    public holdings of government
    securities, including the Bureau of the
    Treasury’s bond sinking fund (BSF).
    The combined investment in
    government securities of the GSIS and
    the SSS, meanwhile, rose to ₱474.6
    billion from ₱453.7 billion in 2012. -
     
  11. abhi_the _gr8_maratha

    abhi_the _gr8_maratha Senior Member Senior Member

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    The Philippines
    has been removed from a watch list for
    US trade partners exhibiting problems
    with intellectual property rights (IPR)
    protection, enforcement or market
    access.
    The announcement was made by the
    Office of the United States Trade
    Representative (USTR) which said it
    has "determined to remove the
    Philippines from the Special 301 Watch
    List."
    This Watch List identifies "countries
    that deny adequate and effective
    protection for intellectual property
    rights (IPR) or deny fair and equitable
    market access for persons that rely on
    intellectual property protection.”
    In removing the Philippines from the
    watch list, the USTR cited the
    enactment of "a series of significant
    legislative and regulatory reforms to
    enhance” IPR protection and
    enforcement in the country. Civil and
    administrative enforcement in this
    regard has also improved, it said.
    (READ: Aquino presses for PH inclusion
    in Pacific trade deal
    )
    "Although significant challenges
    remain, the commitment of Philippine
    authorities and the results achieved
    merit this change in status. The United
    States will continue to engage with
    the Philippines to address unresolved
    and future challenges," it said.
    The Philippines has appeared on the
    Watch List or Priority Watch List
    continuously since 1994, and was first
    listed in 1989.
    The USTR said that a trading partner’s
    inclusion on the watch list "indicates
    that particular problems exist in that
    country or economy with respect to
    IPR protection, enforcement, or market
    access for persons relying on
    intellectual property."
    "Trading partners on the Priority
    Watch List become the focus of
    increased bilateral attention
    concerning the problem areas,"
     
  12. abhi_the _gr8_maratha

    abhi_the _gr8_maratha Senior Member Senior Member

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    longest stretch of inflows into
    Philippine equities since at least 1999
    shows growing confidence among
    foreign investors that the economy has
    the best prospects in Asia, according to
    the nation’s top-performing stock
    picker.
    Overseas money managers were net
    buyers on the Philippine Stock
    Exchange for a 26th straight day today,
    adding $571.8 million to holdings during
    the period and capping the longest
    streak of inflows since Bloomberg
    began compiling the data in March
    1999. Noel Reyes, the chief investment
    officer at Security Bank Corp. (SECB),
    says fresh purchases may drive further
    gains as long as the nation maintains
    economic growth near 7 percent.
    Southeast Asia’s fifth-biggest economy
    capped its strongest two-year
    expansion since the 1950s in 2013 as
    the central bank held interest rates at
    record lows, while exports jumped at a
    faster-than-estimated 24 percent pace
    in February. The benchmark equity
    index has climbed 18 percent from last
    year’s low in August, approaching the
    20 percent threshold that signals a bull
    market.
    “The Philippines continues to be the
    country with the best prospects on the
    macro side,” Reyes, 48, who helped
    oversee about $810 million at Security
    Bank as of December from Manila. The
    firm’s SB Peso Equity Fund (SBPSEQF)
    has returned 19 percent in 2014, the
    most among 29 Philippine peers tracked
    by Bloomberg. “Funds are betting that
    these good GDP expectations will
    translate into good corporate
    earnings.”
    Top Holdings
    Reyes said he favors infrastructure,
    consumer and energy companies. While
    he declined to name specific stocks,
    data compiled by Bloomberg show
    Manila Electric Co. (MER) and Puregold
    (PGOLD) Price Club Inc. were among
    the SB Peso Equity fund’s biggest
    holdings at the end of January.
    Manila Electric, the nation’s largest
    power retailer, climbed 10 percent this
    year through yesterday while Puregold,
    the biggest grocery-store operator,
    rallied 21 percent. The Philippine Stock
    Exchange Index advanced 15 percent,
    versus a 1.9 percent decline in the MSCI
    Asia Pacific Index. The Philippine
    measure was little changed today.
    “The government will spend on
    infrastructure and power will be
    required to sustain economic
    expansion, while consumption remains
    a big component of the economy,”
    Reyes said. The money manager has an
    underweight position in banks on
    expectations they will fail to repeat
    trading gains that boosted earnings in
    2013.
    Aquino Economy
    Philippine President Benigno Aquino
    plans to raise spending to a record this
    year and will seek more than $11 billion
    of investment in airports and roads to
    deliver economic growth between 6.5
    percent and 7.5 percent.
    Gross domestic product expanded 7.2
    percent in 2013 and 6.8 percent in 2012,
    data compiled by Bloomberg show. That
    compares with 4.7 percent growth for
    developing economies worldwide last
    year, according to the International
    Monetary Fund.
    Sustained economic expansion will
    support the premium on Philippine
    stock valuations relative to the region,
    according to Reyes. Shares in the
    nation’s benchmark index trade at 17.8
    times estimated 12-month earnings,
    compared with a 12.3 multiple for the
    MSCI Asia Pacific Index.
    “The key for valuation is sustainability
    of economic growth,” Reyes said. “If
    GDP weakens, then that valuation will
    drop because that will have an effect
    on corporate earnings.”
    The economy will probably expand 6.5
    percent this year while corporate
    earnings grow 8 percent, Reyes said.
    Consumer prices, which climbed at a 3.9
    percent pace in March, may increase in
    a range between 3.7 percent and 4.2
    percent, he said.
    Reyes said the Philippine Stock
    Exchange index may climb to as high as
    7,000 this year if GDP and inflation
    figures are better than investors
    anticipate. The gauge, which closed at
    6,765.93 today, reached a 2014 high of
    6,784.95 on April 22.
    “We need more catalysts to break the
    resistance at 6,800, like better-than-
    expected GDP and inflation,” Reyes
    said. “Investors want more proof that
    economic growth is sustainable.”
     
  13. abhi_the _gr8_maratha

    abhi_the _gr8_maratha Senior Member Senior Member

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    The history of the Philippines is
    believed to have begun with the
    arrival of the first humans using rafts
    or primitive boats, at least 67,000 years
    ago as the 2007 discovery of Callao
    Man showed.[1] The first recorded visit
    from the West is the arrival of
    Ferdinand Magellan, who sighted the
    island of Samar Island on March 16,
    1521 and landed on Homonhon Island
    (now part of Guiuan, Eastern Samar
    province) the next day. Homonhon
    Island is southeast of Samar Island.[2]
    Before Magellan arrived, Negrito tribes
    inhabited the isles, who were
    subsequently joined and largely
    supplanted by migrating groups of
    Austronesians. This population had
    stratified into hunter-gatherer tribes,
    warrior societies, petty plutocracies
    and maritime-oriented harbor
    principalities which eventually grew
    into kingdoms, rajahnates,
    principalities, confederations and
    sultanates. The Philippine islands
    were greatly influenced by Hindu
    religions, literature and philosophy
    from India in the early centuries of the
    christian era.[3] States included the
    Indianized Rajahnate of Butuan and
    Cebu, the dynasty of Tondo, the
    august kingdoms of Maysapan and
    Maynila, the Confederation of
    Madyaas, the sinified Country of Mai,
    as well as the Muslim Sultanates of
    Sulu and Maguindanao. These small
    maritime states flourished from the
    1st millennium.[4][5] These kingdoms
    traded with what are now called China,
    India, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, and
    Indonesia.[6] The remainder of the
    settlements were independent
    Barangays allied with one of the larger
    states.
    Spanish colonization and settlement
    began with the arrival of Miguel López
    de Legazpi's expedition on February 13,
    1565 who established the first
    permanent settlement of San Miguel
    on the island of Cebu.[7] The
    expedition continued northward
    reaching the bay of Manila on the
    island of Luzon on June 24, 1571,[8]
    where they established a new town
    and thus began an era of Spanish
    colonization that lasted for more than
    three centuries.[9]
    Spanish rule achieved the political
    unification of almost the whole
    archipelago, that previously had been
    composed by independent kingdoms,
    pushing back south the advancing
    Islamic forces and creating the first
    draft of the nation that was to be
    known as the Philippines. Spain also
    introduced Christianity, the code of law
    and the oldest modern Universities in
    Asia.
    The Spanish East Indies were ruled as
    part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain
    and administered from Mexico City
    from 1565 to 1821, and administered
    directly from Madrid, Spain from 1821
    until the end of the Spanish–American
    War in 1898, except for a brief period of
    British rule from 1762 to 1764. They
    founded schools, a university, and
    some hospitals, principally in Manila
    and the largest Spanish fort
    settlements. Universal education was
    made free for all Filipino subjects in
    1863 and remained so until the end of
    the Spanish colonial era. This measure
    was at the vanguard of contemporary
    Asian countries, and led to an
    important class of educated natives,
    like José Rizal. Ironically, it was during
    the initial years of American
    occupation in the early 20th century,
    that Spanish literature and press
    flourished.
    The Philippine Revolution against
    Spain began in August 1896,
    culminating the establishment of the
    First Philippine Republic. However, the
    Treaty of Paris, at the end of the
    Spanish–American War, transferred
    control of the Philippines to the United
    States. This agreement was not
    recognized by the insurgent First
    Philippine Republic Government
    which, on June 2, 1899, proclaimed a
    Declaration of War against the United
    States.[10] The Philippine–American
    War which ensued resulted in massive
    casualties.[11] Philippine president
    Emilio Aguinaldo was captured in 1901
    and the U.S. government declared the
    conflict officially over in 1902.
    The U.S. had established a military
    government in the Philippines on
    August 14, 1898, following the capture
    of Manila.[12] Civil government was
    inaugurated on July 1, 1901.[13] An
    elected Philippine Assembly was
    convened in 1907 as the lower house
    of a bicameral legislature.[13]
    Commonwealth status was granted in
    1935, preparatory to a planned full
    independence from the United States
    in 1946.[14] Preparation for a fully
    sovereign state was interrupted by the
    Japanese occupation of the islands
    during World War II.[15] After the end
    of the war, the Treaty of Manila
    established the Philippine Republic as
    an independent nation.[16]
    With a promising economy in the 1950s
    and 1960s, the Philippines in the late
    1960s and early 1970s saw a rise of
    student activism and civil unrest
    against President Ferdinand Marcos
    who declared martial law in 1972.
    [citation needed] The peaceful and
    bloodless People Power Revolution of
    1986, however, brought about the
    ousting of Marcos and a return to
    democracy for the country. The period
    since then was marked by political
    instability and hampered economic
    productivity. However, economic
    growth has gained pace in recent years
    to become one of the highest in Asia;
    as such the Philippines has been
    labeled one of the Next Eleven
    countries due to promising future
    growth.
     
  14. abhi_the _gr8_maratha

    abhi_the _gr8_maratha Senior Member Senior Member

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    The US Department of
    State has warned of the risks of
    travel to the Philippines, in particular
    to the Sulu Archipelago and the
    island of Mindanao in a travel
    warning dated 5 July 2013, because of
    continuing threats in those areas due
    to terrorist and insurgent activities
    together with conflicts between
    Muslim militias and the Philippine
    government. In 2009 this region was
    declared the world's most hazardous
    area for journalists by the Committee
    to Protect Journalists, a massacre
    having occurred twice in this area -
    once in 2009 and again in 2010.
    Travelling to the Sulu Sea region is
    dangerous and strongly discouraged.
    If it is necessary to visit, inform your
    embassy.
     
  15. abhi_the _gr8_maratha

    abhi_the _gr8_maratha Senior Member Senior Member

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    Ethnologue maps.
    There are some 120 to 175 languages
    in the Philippines, depending on the
    method of classification.[1] Four others
    are no longer spoken. Almost all are
    classified as Malayo-Polynesian
    languages, while one, Chabacano is a
    Creole derived from a Romance
    language. Two are official, while (as of
    2010) twelve are official auxiliary
    languages.[2]
    National and official languages
    Spanish was the national and official
    language of the country for more than
    three centuries under Spanish colonial
    rule, and became the lingua franca of
    the Philippines in the 19th and early
    20th centuries. In 1863 a Spanish
    decree introduced universal education,
    creating free public schooling in
    Spanish.[3] It was also the language of
    the Philippine Revolution, and the
    1899 Malolos Constitution effectively
    proclaimed it as the official language
    of the First Philippine Republic.[4]
    National hero José Rizal wrote most of
    his works in Spanish. Luciano de la
    Rosa established that Spanish was
    spoken by a total of 60% of the
    population in the early 20th century as
    a first, second or third language.
    Following the American occupation of
    the Philippines and the imposition of
    English, the use of Spanish declined
    gradually, especially after the 1940s.
    Under the U.S. occupation and civil
    regime, English began to be taught in
    schools. By 1901, public education
    used English as the medium of
    instruction. Around 600 educators
    (called " Thomasites") who arrived in
    that year aboard the USS Thomas
    replaced the soldiers who also
    functioned as teachers. The 1935
    Constitution added English as an
    official language alongside Spanish. A
    provision in this constitution also
    called for Congress to "take steps
    toward the development and adoption
    of a common national language based
    on one of the existing native
    languages." On November 12, 1937,
    the First National Assembly created
    the National Language Institute.
    President Manuel L. Quezón appointed
    native Waray-Waray speaker Jaime C.
    De Veyra to chair a committee of
    speakers of other regional languages.
    Their aim was to select a national
    language among the other regional
    languages. Ultimately, Tagalog was
    chosen as the base language
    December 30, 1937.[5]
    In 1939, President Manuel L. Quezón
    renamed the Tagalog language as
    Wikang Pambansa ("national
    language" in English translation).[6]
    The language was further renamed in
    1959 as Pilipino by Secretary of
    Education Jose Romero. The 1973
    constitution declared the Pilipino
    language to be co-official, along with
    English, and mandated the
    development of a national language,
    to be known as Filipino. In addition,
    Spanish regained its official status
    when President Marcos signed
    Presidential Decree No. 155, s. 1973.[7]
    The present constitution, ratified in
    1987, designates Filipino and English as
    joint official languages. Filipino also
    had the distinction of being a national
    language that was to be "developed
    and enriched on the basis of existing
    Philippine and other languages."
    Although not explicitly stated in the
    constitution, Filipino is in practice
    almost completely composed of the
    Tagalog language as spoken in the
    capital, Manila; however, organizations
    such as the University of the
    Philippines began publishing
    dictionaries such as the UP
    Diksyonaryong Filipino in which words
    from various Philippine languages
    were also included. The constitution
    also made mention of Spanish and
    Arabic, both of which are to be
    promoted on a voluntary and optional
    basis.
    Filipino is an official language of
    education and also the major language
    of the broadcast media and cinema,
    but less important than English as a
    language of publication (except in
    some domains, like comic books, which
    are meant to speak directly to the
    Filipino psyche) and less important for
    academic-scientific-technological
    discourse. English and Filipino compete
    in the domains of business and
    government.[dubious ] Filipino is used
    as a lingua franca in all regions of the
    Philippines as well as within overseas
    Filipino communities, and is the
    dominant language of the armed
    forces (except perhaps for the small
    part of the commissioned officer corps
    from wealthy or upper-middle-class
    families) and of a large part of the civil
    service, most of whom are non-
    Tagalogs.
    There are different forms of diglossia
    that exist in the case of regional
    languages. Locals may use their
    mother tongue or the regional lingua
    franca to communicate amongst
    themselves, but sometimes switch to
    foreign languages when addressing
    outsiders. Another is the prevalence of
    code-switching to English when
    speaking in both their first language
    and Tagalog.
    The Constitution of the Philippines
    provides for the use of the vernacular
    languages as official auxiliary
    languages in provinces where Filipino
    is not the lingua franca. This is
    however not implemented as Filipinos
    at large are polyglots.
     
  16. abhi_the _gr8_maratha

    abhi_the _gr8_maratha Senior Member Senior Member

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    ) At least 16 people
    were reported hurt after a fire and
    explosion hit the Philippine Army's
    compound in Fort Bonifacio in Taguig
    City Wednesday morning.
    The fire broke out at around 10:30 a.m.
    at the Explosives and Ordnance
    Disposal (EOD) office in Fort Bonifacio,
    Army Deputy Chief Capt. Anthony
    Bacus told reporters.
    The office is a one-floor building like a
    bungalow-type house, Philippine Army
    spokesman Lt. Col. Noel Detoyato said.
    "Ang total bale is 16 'yung injured pero
    minor injuries lang naman tulad ng
    bruises, lacerations at iba pa. 'Yung iba
    nga, dito na lang binigyan ng first aid,"
    Detoyato told GMA News Online in a
    phone interview on Wednesday.
    Out of the 16 injured, seven were
    firefighters, while the other seven
    were fire volunteers. The two others
    were official cameramen of the
    Philippine Army.
    The two were hit by shrapnel with one
    being loaded on an ambulance and the
    other on a military vehicle, radio
    dzBB's Mao dela Cruz reported.
    .
    .
    At least 16 hurt as fire, explosion hit Philippine Army compound in Taguig | News | GMA News Online
     
  17. abhi_the _gr8_maratha

    abhi_the _gr8_maratha Senior Member Senior Member

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    There have been five republics in the
    history of the Philippines:
    First Philippine Republic (January
    23, 1899 – March 23, 1901)
    Second Philippine Republic (October
    14, 1943 – August 17, 1945)
    Third Philippine Republic (July 4,
    1946 – September 21, 1972)
    Fourth Philippine Republic (June 30,
    1981 – February 25, 1986)
    Fifth Philippine Republic (February
    2, 1987 – present)
     
  18. Free Karma

    Free Karma Senior Member Senior Member

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    ^^ post's are a bit hard to read with the narrow column formatting.:( Dont understand why some posts end up like that.
     
  19. abhi_the _gr8_maratha

    abhi_the _gr8_maratha Senior Member Senior Member

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  20. abhi_the _gr8_maratha

    abhi_the _gr8_maratha Senior Member Senior Member

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    Undaunted by China’s aggressive
    rhetoric and expansionist claims to
    nearly all of the South China Sea, the
    Philippines has filed a legal case
    against Beijing with an international
    arbitration tribunal in The Hague. This
    is an appropriate venue to resolve a
    major dispute peacefully and in accord
    with global norms. The strategy of the
    Philippines has implications for others
    with similar claims against China —
    Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan
    — and thus deserves support from the
    international community.
    The rivalry between China and the
    Philippines is bitter and potentially
    dangerous, with frequent face-offs at
    sea over the disputed islands and
    rocks. It is not hard to imagine
    incidents spiraling out of control. In
    the latest episode, a Philippine vessel
    on Saturday outmaneuvered the
    Chinese Coast Guard and resupplied a
    ship that has been stranded for 15
    years on a tiny reef called the Second
    Thomas Shoal. The Philippines
    intentionally grounded the vessel in
    1999 to stake claim to the reef, and it
    has since served as, effectively, a
    military outpost. The Chinese ships
    were trying to block a delivery of fresh
    food and troops from reaching it.
    The Second Thomas Shoal is at the
    heart of the legal brief filed with the
    Permanent Court of Arbitration. It
    argues that the Shoal, known as
    Ayungin in the Philippines and Ren’ai
    Reef in China, is 105 nautical miles
    from the Philippines, well inside the
    200 nautical miles of an exclusive
    economic zone that allows the
    Philippines to control and exploit the
    waters around the shoal under the
    United Nations Convention on the Law
    of the Sea. A ruling is expected
    sometime next year.
    For its part, China claims about 80
    percent of the South China Sea, a vital
    waterway for world trade. It has
    repeatedly asserted that it does not
    accept the Philippine decision to take
    the case to the tribunal and will not
    participate in the proceedings. It also
    summoned the Philippine ambassador
    in Beijing to lodge a strong complaint
    just in case the Philippines did not get
    the message.
    China is a signatory to the 1982
    Convention on the Law of the Sea,
    though it has opted out of
    international jurisdiction over some
    territorial issues. Its proposed remedy
    in this case — bilateral talks — has
    been on offer for years and clearly has
    not led to a settlement. Given all the
    tension, it is time for a legal proceeding
    allowing both sides to present their
    best arguments and obtain a
    judgment. The United States has not
    taken sides on the claims but has
    argued for a peaceful resolution and
    backed the right of the Philippines to
    use the tribunal’s dispute mechanism.
    Other countries should take a similar
    stand or risk sending China a message
    that it can keep trying to bully its
    rivals into submission.
     
  21. abhi_the _gr8_maratha

    abhi_the _gr8_maratha Senior Member Senior Member

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    China on Monday called for efforts to
    safeguard peace and stability in the
    Asia-Pacific region in response to
    ongoing joint military exercises run by
    the United States and the Philippines.
    "It is in the common interests of all
    parties concerned to maintain peace
    and stability in Asia and the Pacific,
    which demands constructive efforts by
    all parties," foreign ministry
    spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a
    daily press briefing.
    "(We) hope that actions taken by the
    United States and the Philippines will
    go in this direction as well," said the
    spokeswoman, urging the two
    countries to do things "conducive to
    building mutual trust among countries
    and maintaining peace and stability in
    the region."
    Troops from the Philippines and the
    United States formally began on
    Monday their annual joint military
    exercises, dubbed Balikatan (or
    "shoulder-to-shoulder").
    The 30th annual joint military drill will
    involve 3,000 Filipino soldiers and 2,500
    American soldiers.
     

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